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Japanese Soldier Resurfaces in Ukraine ^ | 4 17 06 | MARI YAMAGUCHI

Posted on 04/17/2006 12:33:07 PM PDT by freepatriot32

TOKYO - A former Japanese soldier last seen by his family when he went off to fight in World War II has resurfaced in Ukraine and is returning to Japan to see his relatives after 60 years, the government said Monday.

Ishinosuke Uwano, now 83, had been declared among Japan's war dead in 2000.

Suminori Arima, a health ministry official in charge of locating war veterans lost overseas, declined to say where Uwano had been the past six decades or why he had not been in touch with his family in Japan.

He said Uwano was expected to arrive Wednesday with his Ukrainian son to spend 10 days with his surviving relatives in Iwate, about 290 miles northeast of Tokyo.

"It's wonderful that Mr. Uwano can make a homecoming visit in good health," Arima said.

Uwano was an Imperial Army soldier serving in a force occupying the island of Sakhalin in Russia's far east when the war ended in August 1945. Arima said he was last reported seen there in 1958.

Arima said the aging Uwano, who lives in the former Soviet republic of Ukraine, asked someone in his local community to help him track down his Japanese relatives. Inquiries by the acquaintance eventually reached the health ministry, which sent staff to interview Uwano at the Japanese Embassy in Kiev, Arima said.

The health ministry declined to provide more information on the former soldier and details of his Japanese and Ukrainian families were not disclosed.

Kyodo News agency said Uwano moved to Ukraine in 1965 and has three children. He lives in Zhitomir, a city just west of the capital, Kiev, the report said.

The government believes about 400 former Japanese World War II soldiers are living in the states of the former Soviet Union, including 40 who have been identified.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Japan
KEYWORDS: 1946; japan
i wonder if the japanese army is going to give him 60 years of backpay ?
1 posted on 04/17/2006 12:33:09 PM PDT by freepatriot32
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To: freepatriot32
i wonder if the japanese army is going to give him 60 years of backpay ?

Or the Japanese government charge him for 60 years of back taxes on that pay.

2 posted on 04/17/2006 12:35:06 PM PDT by rhombus
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To: freepatriot32

The title you created was changed to the original published title.

Please help us prevent duplicates by using only the original published title.

3 posted on 04/17/2006 12:36:37 PM PDT by Admin Moderator
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To: freepatriot32

Probably - and a commerative knife inscribed with the emperors name

4 posted on 04/17/2006 12:36:44 PM PDT by Waverunner
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To: freepatriot32

Wasn't this an episode of Gilligans Island?

5 posted on 04/17/2006 12:37:11 PM PDT by sandbar
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To: sandbar

yeah, but he was Korean. and the guy became infatuated with Ginger. then again, who wasnt?

6 posted on 04/17/2006 12:40:34 PM PDT by Zeppelin (Texas Longhorns === National Champions !!!)
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To: freepatriot32
Wouldn't say where he spent his time, eh? I think I know where he spent some of it.

7 posted on 04/17/2006 12:40:42 PM PDT by SlowBoat407 (The best stuff happens just before the thread snaps.)
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To: freepatriot32

Russians had a big effort to convert August 1945 Japanese POWs to Communism. This guy was probably one of them.

8 posted on 04/17/2006 12:40:54 PM PDT by fso301
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To: freepatriot32

"Well, I spent the whole time on a tropical island, waiting to ambush the Yankee invader. Sounds nice, but it got dull. I had no companion except this soccer ball. He was my friend. I called him Dunlap. Eventually, I decided to build a raft. I drifted to Kamchatka and then hopped on a train. Unfortunately, it took me all the way to Ukraine. Now I'm ready to go home and sell my movie rights."

9 posted on 04/17/2006 12:41:40 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Never question Bruce Dickinson!)
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To: rhombus
I did an episode where I found a lone WWII Jap on an island

10 posted on 04/17/2006 12:44:23 PM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: freepatriot32

Simple explanation. Ukranian women.

11 posted on 04/17/2006 12:46:28 PM PDT by Williams
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To: freepatriot32

Will he be court-martialed for desertion?

12 posted on 04/17/2006 12:48:21 PM PDT by riker7 ("I'm frightened beyond the capacity for rational thought")
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To: Williams
Simple explanation. Ukranian women.

He couldn't come back until his first wife had passed away?

13 posted on 04/17/2006 12:48:23 PM PDT by mtbopfuyn
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To: freepatriot32

He's also got a lot of leave owing to him.........

14 posted on 04/17/2006 12:48:38 PM PDT by Red Badger (In warfare there are no constant conditions. --- The Art of War by SunTzu)
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To: ClearCase_guy
I called him Dunlap...

I called him Toyo or Bridgestone.......

15 posted on 04/17/2006 12:50:23 PM PDT by Red Badger (In warfare there are no constant conditions. --- The Art of War by SunTzu)
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To: aculeus; Senator Bedfellow; AnAmericanMother; Billthedrill; struwwelpeter
The Man Who Was
16 posted on 04/17/2006 12:54:33 PM PDT by dighton
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To: dighton
The Earth gave up her dead that tide,
Into our camp he came,
And said his say, and went his way,
And left our hearts aflame.

Keep tally—on the gun-butt score
The vengeance we must take,
When God shall bring full reckoning,
For our dead comrade’s sake.

17 posted on 04/17/2006 1:29:40 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: dighton
There was an article in a Kazakhstan paper about Japanese POWs awhile back:

Two bottles of 'Talas' for some history

In the wreckage of the summer theater some scraps of an old Japanese newspaper were found and sold

All week long correspondents from 'Noviy Vestnik' searched this ancient newspaper, left in Karaganda more than a half-century ago by Japanese prisoners of war. We are told that the papers were found by residents in the 13th precinct, who were working on the demolition of the old summer theater. When the stage was torn apart, stuck to a support beam was a yellowing scrap of paper, speckled with incomprehensible hieroglyphics.

Covered in lime and dust, the boys tearing down the historic landmark assured us that not long ago they found a Japanese newspaper, or at least part of one. "Someone probably tore a piece off to roll their own cigarette, licked it, but was interrupted and stuck it on the wooden beam for later." This was the theory of Kaysar, the most senior in the work brigade. As far as where this paper was now to be found, he thought awhile, then recalled that it was passed around, and in the end a friend of Kuanysh by the name of Kuk took it home.

Over at Kuk's apartment on the outskirts of Maykuduk that evening, however, it turns out that it was sold four days ago to a historian from the museum of folklore. "I didn't even get enough for a good drunk, just two bottles of 'Talas'."

But the students of folklore heard about the paper and its hieroglyphs for the first time from us. The museum's deputy science director sternly interrogated the employees, but was disappointed: none of them had gone to the summer theater or had acquired the Japanese newspaper.

Kuanysh the worker at last recalled the telephone number a mysterious collector by the name of Askar.

Here it is, the miraculously preserved Japanese rarity. A blackened scrap of paper, now rotted in two. One side depicts the three gloomy profiles in military caps. The other side is fully covered in hieroglyphics. Askar Kairbekov keeps the scraps between the pages of a book. It turns out the this trained physician is not a professional historian, just a "love of my area" is how he explains his interest in the past. He never passed himself off as an employee of the museum, that was made up by the workers at the site. Askar Ashkenovich explains: "They had to think of a way to address me, so one little fellow shouted 'Historian!' and it stuck."

"I'm not a collector, I work in the municipal disaster department," he says. "One morning, after being on duty all day, I went to the summer theater, or at least what remained of it. Something drew me there. I thought: I'll have a last look. I wanted to feel the spirit of the past. Well, there the boys were getting ready to work. I asked them: 'Did you find anything interesting?' 'Yes' they replied. And one said: 'We found some sort of a Japanese newspaper'. So they showed me. The quality of course was better than now. It was brighter and wasn't torn. I was immediately interested. 'Where's the rest of the paper?' I asked. 'There wasn't any, that's all we found' they said. So I said 'Give me it', 'Why do you need it?' they asked. I said 'Well, you certainly don't'. So they said 'Buy it from us', and so we agreed. But I didn't have any money with me, but I got an advance and came back the next day."

Too late
Seeing how the clean newspaper had changed in a day, Askar Ashkenovich was very sorry that he had not immediately procured the money.

"This Kuanysh fellow put the paper in a matchbox and left it outside," the history lover sighs. "When I saw this, I was heartbroken! The box was left out in the rain. The paper got soaked and fell in the mud. I was too late! It was good that at least something was still left. For the boys at the site it was just a piece of paper! That's how they treated it, though they demanded 500 tenge ($3). To be honest, I wanted to pay this, but, after seeing how it was ruined, I objected that it was no longer worth it. And so they agreed in principle to 200 tenge. Later I went there a couple more times, climbed up on the foundations, but except for rubbish from the demolition, I didn't find anything else. But the workers tried to get me to buy some other old things, an old chisel. They must have decided that I was a foreign millionaire."

And so the long-suffering scrap of a Japanese newspaper repeats the fate of those homeless ones, who once read it in a foreign land behind the barbed wire. In a sort of irony, Askar Ashkenovich keeps what used to belong to prisoners of war in an old book by the Soviet writer Mikhail Prudnik, Ticket to Afar, which tells the story of secret agents in World War II.

Three hundred and sixty yen
How prisoners, working under the barrels of machineguns, could manage to receive press from their home island, is a mystery for historians to work out. In order to find out what was written on the paper, we invited a Japanese linguist to translate for us.

Svyatoslav Mashtakov lived awhile in Japan in his youth, and now teaches Japanese at the KUBUP (Karaganda university). He glanced at the scraps of newspaper, and just shrugged his shouldners: "Well, and what is this charade! No beginning, no end, and no middle to the text!" Reading from right to left, top to bottom, Svyatoslav Mikhailovich comes to the conclusion that that one side talks about some kind of 'questions being investigated by philosophy'. The side which shows the people means: 'Section for readers', on top is written: '28 May, Sunday edition', while from the text he can discern only that 'for 360 yen one can join the reader's club'. Svyatoslav Mikhailovich explains here that it speaks of a rather large sum, since the average monthly wage in Japan back then was only about 150 yen.

Natal'ya Fomina, Noviy Vestnik, Karaganda, Kazakhstan
September 8th, 2004
18 posted on 04/18/2006 12:49:57 AM PDT by struwwelpeter
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